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2019 inflation to come in slower at 3.2 percent —BSP

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) sees inflation clocking in at 3.2 percent for the whole of 2019, from 5.2 percent last year, Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo said Thursday.

The central bank noted earlier this month that “price pressures have started to dissipate with inflation expected to fall within target for 2019 and 2020.”

“We expect inflation to come down to 3.2 percent in 2019 and farther to 3 percent by 2020,” Guinigundo said during his presentation at a Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) event in Makati City.

“There are risks of course ... these include possible adjustment in electricity rates and faster than expected monetary policies,” the BSP official said.

In a separate statement earlier this month, the central bank said it continues to keep a close watch over price developments … to ensure that the monetary policy stance remains consistent with its price stability objective.

The Duterte administration’s economic managers are forecasting inflation to settle between 2 and 4 percent this year, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno earlier disclosed.

Inflation settled at 5.1 percent in December 2018, slower than the 6 percent in November but faster compared with 2.9 percent in December 2017.

Guinigundo said the Philippine economy has demonstrated “uninterrupted economic expansion” and has establish a “domestic source of resilience” to help address the impact of external and domestic challenges.

The government’s commitment to pursue infrastructure and reform agenda would help promote globally competitive industries in sustaining the Philippine economy.

Guinigundo said "robust monetary, financial and external sectors would support economic growth over the near and medium-term."

“Strategic policies and structural reforms, addressing infrastructure gaps, and leveraging the country’s demographic opportunities have played a significant role and will continue to underpin the economy’s path towards balanced, sustainable and inclusive growth,” he said. —VDS, GMA News